Lawrence County Superintendent responds to community complaints about R.A. Hubbard High School

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. - When the state releases the list of failing schools its rare that the possibility of closing the school comes up. In Lawrence County, it's that possibility that has many community members nervous.

There have been several community meetings regarding R.A. Hubbard, and Monday at Hazelwood Elementary School, Superintendent Dr. Jon Bret Smith explained exactly how R.A. Hubbard ended up on the failing schools list.

"It is raw standardized test scores. It is test scores from the ACT and scantron currently," said Lawrence County Superintendent Dr. Jon Bret Smith.

"R.A. Hubbard didn't even have ACT prep until some ladies got some private money to get a tutor down there two days a week," said Lawrence County NAACP President, Jan E. Turnbore.

Superintendent Smith said R.A. Hubbard didn't get to the point of being a failing school overnight.

"In 15 years we have lost 417 students or 55% of our students in district 1," said Superintendent Smith.

Community advocates argue that R.A. Hubbard is not a failing school and encourage parents to keep their children there, so attendance stays up and the school stays open.

"I would tell the parents when they get that letter in the mail check the box that says I want to keep my children in R.A. Hubbard," said Turnbore.

Superintendent Smith says if the school stays open, they will determine a plan of action going forward.

"We're going to get our data together and make sure we address specific student needs to help students learn to the best of their ability," said Smith.

The last of several community meetings is being held Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. at R.A. Hubbard High School.

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